A friend we know has been taking her daughter to visit college campuses this spring and says it’s causing her a lot of stress. They all seem nice, she said, and the people are friendly, so how do you choose?
We’ve heard similar comments when people are looking for an assisted-living community. How do you choose? It seems there are more options every day.
Just as it is important for students to visit college campuses, it’s important for seniors to visit several senior communities. And, when you do visit, there are things you should watch for.
Village Green has created a video with the most commonly asked questions regarding resident life within our community. This may help you come up with ideas for what types of questions to ask during your senior community visit!
Here is a list compiled by the folks at A Place for Mom, and it’s worth keeping in mind.
TIP #1: OBSERVE THE LEVEL OF CLEANLINESS & FOLLOW YOUR NOSE
There is a difference between being tidy and being clean, so be sure to look for cleanliness in the public areas. If you smell an odor, ask about what might be causing it. Ask about housekeeping services in the personal spaces. What is cleaned and how often? Ask about laundry services as well.
TIP #2: VISIT DURING AN ACTIVITY
Every facility posts a weekly activity schedule and many have them online. If possible, check out the activity schedule and ask if you can visit during one you are interested in. Is the activity well attended? Does the staff seem engaged and enthusiastic?
TIP #3: PAY ATTENTION TO STAFF FRIENDLINESS
Does the staff make a point of talking with residents and visitors? Do staff greet residents by name? Ask to meet members of the management team, as well as direct care providers.
TIP #4: VISIT THE OUTDOOR AREAS
Is it well-maintained and safe for residents to enjoy?
TIP #5: EAT A MEAL AT THE PROPERTY
Call ahead and ask if you can eat a meal during your visit. Ask about menu options, dining hours and other procedures. What is the atmosphere in the dining room? Do the residents seem to be enjoying each other’s company? Again, is the staff welcoming and friendly?
TIP #6: ASK SECURITY & SAFETY QUESTIONS
How do residents get help if they have an emergency in their room? Are there call buttons? Wellness checks? Make sure you ask about staffing patterns in general, as well as questions specific to your needs.
TIP #7: ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT PERSONAL CARE
You or your loved one may not need personal care immediately, but ask about it anyway. What care is provided for those who need it and at what cost? Do the residents look well groomed and well dressed?
TIP #8: GET FEEDBACK FROM RESIDENTS & FAMILIES
It’s unlikely that a resident would complain about a living situation, but listen for what they don’t say as much as to what they do say.
TIP #9: ASK ABOUT MOVE-OUT CRITERIA
Different facilities have different policies for the kinds of residents they can care for. Be sure to ask what circumstances would necessitate a resident finding a new living situation. Ask too about move-out criteria if the move is the resident’s choice. Is there a 30-day notice requirement?
TIP #10: TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS
During your tour, did you feel welcome? Did the community feel like a good fit? While many assisted-living facilities provide similar services, different facilities have different vibes, and it’s important to pay attention to the intangibles as well.